Reef Pico - 3.5 Gallons

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As requested, here is the build thread for my Reef Pico! I'll walk through the process of putting together my tank and provide some updates.

Here is the reef: Kraken's Lair (Thanks to Katrina71)
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My goal with setting up my first reef/saltwater tank was to start very basic and use as much as I can from my freshwater rigs. Beginning with a pico reef, I can easily prevent issues from arising and provide/maintain important elements by performing regular water changes. To keep the amount of evaporation in check, I have drawn a small fill line on the side of the aquarium and built a lid.

Supplies:
  • Tank
    • Top Fin bettaflo
    • 3.5 Gallons
  • Pump
    • Top Fin SP-55 (came with the tank)
    • Adjustable (on highest setting and circulates the tank)
  • Light
    • ABI Tuna 12w
    • 38 PAR
  • Heater
    • Zacro 50w
    • Adjustable
    • Cheap one ($10) I have used for at least 2 years
    • Temp is very stable
  • Thermometer
    • Marina Floating with suction cup
  • Lid
    • Constructed one out of a broken picture frame sheet.
    • Split airline tubing in half and wrapped it around the edges of the lid
      • Protects hands from sharp edges
      • Easier to grab lid
Substrate:
  • Live Carib Sea Ocean Direct
    • 3/4 of 5lbs = 1-2 inch sand bed
  • Rock
    • 2 lbs of Lace Rock
    • 1 lb of Live Reef Rubble
Coral:
  • Zeus - Zoanthid
  • Apollo - Acan
  • Thor - Hammer
Inverts:
  • Aaron, Erin & A-aron - Sexy Shrimp
  • Kraken - Porcelain Crab
  • Gary - Nassarius Snail

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(Thor, Aaron & Erin)

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(Apollo)

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(A-aron)

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(Zeus)

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(Gary)

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(Kraken)

These pics were taken from Day 1 - 15. I'll keep this updated as things change. I'm open for tips/questions! Thanks for viewing my Reef Pico!
 
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Katrina71

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I vote Kraken's Lair.
 

Katrina71

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I have a thing for Krakens. Your pico is awesome!
 
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toxicshark
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Kraken finally decided to check out some more of the tank after chilling out at the heater for two weeks.
1566527681326.png

Also, does anyone know what created the white stains that are around the sand bed? It appeared within the first couple of days of setting up the tank after I had stirred up all the sand from adding water and started the tank cycle. It's only around the glass where it meets the sand and has been slowly going away since the cycle finished 3 weeks ago. It's tough enough that only small scratches can be made when trying to scrape it off. The stain is becoming less of a problem now, but I'm just curious as to what might have caused it.
 

Kayden Hutchings

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Kraken finally decided to check out some more of the tank after chilling out at the heater for two weeks.
1566527681326.png

Also, does anyone know what created the white stains that are around the sand bed? It appeared within the first couple of days of setting up the tank after I had stirred up all the sand from adding water and started the tank cycle. It's only around the glass where it meets the sand and has been slowly going away since the cycle finished 3 weeks ago. It's tough enough that only small scratches can be made when trying to scrape it off. The stain is becoming less of a problem now, but I'm just curious as to what might have caused it.
Did you mix the salt water in the tank? Because that tends to leave a residue when it doesn't get enough flow
 
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toxicshark
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Some filter floss I had ordered finally came in, and I have attached it to the pump intake using some fishing line.
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I do also have a lot of micro bubbles going on in the tank, so I have adjusted the pump to cause more of a wake on the surface to help them pop. There has been either an algae or bacteria growing on all the surfaces of the tank so I had reduced feeding. It did keep the growth at bay, and when I had fed the tank the night before a water change, the stuff had really bloomed. A couple days later now, the walls of the tank are looking better and the bubbles are still around. As long as the bubbles aren't harming anything, they don't bother me. I think it's due to the tank going through some phases since it is pretty new. The bubbles seem to be coming from whatever is growing in the tank, and they form only when the light is on. But if I should be worried just let me know and I can look into it some more.
1566774886851.png



Today is also the first day the lights will have been on for 10 hrs. I had been slowly working it up by increasing the lighting 15 minutes a day
 
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toxicshark
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I added a sponge filter and got a turkey baster to stir the sand before water changes and my tank has been doing great. No more bubbles or algae/bacteria. New polyps have gotten bigger on the Zoas and little branch nubs have been forming on the Hammer

1567970014226.png
 
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toxicshark
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Kraken's Lair is a 1.5 Months old now, and Thor is taking off in growth. I don't know what is standard for Hammers, but it is so cool to see these little differences every now and then. I am having a blast with my little tank!

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Also, Gary is awesome. I think he could win the great snail race.
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toxicshark
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2 Month Update:
I've added 2 rock flower anemones and they are the bomb. Sexy Shrimp love them. I put the little one in the sauce cup to make him feel more comfortable in the sand, so he doesn't get lost in the rocks. His name is Joey and the bigger one's name is Medusa
(Pic with Lights Off)
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